San Diego Beaches Are Open, With Rules
San Diego News Matters / April 27, 2020
San Diego city beaches reopened at sunrise Monday, but there are rules for beachgoers. Also on the San Diego News Matters podcast: new pop-up COVID-19 testing sites, city officials say two homeless people sheltering at the San Diego Convention Center tested positive for the coronavirus and are currently in isolation and more local news you need.
San Diego city beaches reopened at sunrise this morning.
But there are rules for beachgoers.
San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland explained what Phase 1 of the city's plan will look like.
SDBEACHES 1A (0:13):
In phase 1, we get to run, we get to swim, we get to walk on the beach, we get to surf, and you get to fish. So we do get access to our beach back, but we want to remind everyone the stay-at-home order is still in effect
So, no gatherings, and no lying down or sitting on the beach.
And the parking lots will still be closed.
If you can FIND a place to park, You can swim, you can surf, and you can fish.
Lifeguards and police will be enforcing social distancing along the beaches.
People on social media have noted the big crowds that swarmed beaches in Orange County over the hot weekend.
There’ve been calls for San Diegans to do better than our neighbors in OC and keep the social distance on the sand.
By the way...not every city in the county is reopening their beaches just yet.
And the beach openings come just as an order for all county residents to wear facial coverings outside is set to take effect May 1.
So put on your swimsuits, but put on those masks, too.
City officials say two homeless people sheltering at the San Diego Convention Center tested positive for the coronavirus and are currently in isolation.
Earlier this month, the city began proactively testing hundreds of individuals at the convention center, regardless of whether they were displaying symptoms of the disease.
The cases were announced Sunday and have so far been the only positive results out of 663 tests administered to date.
Immigrant rights organizations teamed up with medical professionals over the weekend to deliver a thousand face masks to the Otay Mesa detention center.
The Detention Center is now home to the largest coronavirus outbreak in immigration detention in the country. 57 ICE detainees are positive for coronavirus.
Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez talked to KPBS reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler about how the outbreak sets back any efforts to lower the toll of coronavirus in the county.
GONZALEZ: That makes this the biggest hotspot in the county, possibly in the state. And what we know is that if there were over 100 people infected with coronavirus in any other setting, if it was a nursing home, a hospital, they'd be demanding to shut it down.
Gonzalez, joined by the partner of a man detained in Otay Mesa, tried to deliver the masks, but the two were turned back by security.
They were told they could leave the masks on the sidewalk, and maybe someone would come along and pick it up.
And for the latest local COVID count: San Diego County health officials reported 100 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,043.
No new deaths were reported on Sunday, so the death count stands at 111.
I’m Kinsee Morlan and you’re listening to KPBS’ daily podcast San Diego News Matters.
It’s Monday, April 27.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
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San Diego County officials last week recommended testing be expanded to members of "racial/ethnic groups" as well as other vulnerable communities, regardless of symptoms.
And now there’s an effort to make that happen.
Family Health Centers of San Diego, which operates community clinics in low-income neighborhoods, is launching pop-up COVID-19 testing sites at four locations across the county.
KPBS Health Reporter Tarryn Mento has details.
Family Health Centers of San Diego is offering COVID testing this week only at its Chula Vista clinic. Testing will then move each week to three other sites in South Eastern San Diego, the city of El Cajon and San Diego's Logan Heights neighborhood.
A spokesman confirmed the testing is open to asymptomatic individuals but only Family Health Centers patients who are 12 years or older. Appointments aren't required but the nonprofit can only conduct about 150 tests each day.
Testing in Chula Vista is only today through Friday. Go to KPBS.org for details on testing at the other locations.
Family Health Centers is also one of the organizations tapped to participate in the first meeting of the county's laboratory testing task force. That meeting is happening today.
San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said the new committee will examine how to further increase testing at facilities across the region.
Hundreds gathered in Pacific beach Sunday afternoon to protest the governor's stay at home order.
But as KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman tells us, some seemed to be making other political statements.
Shortly before 1pm Sunday a crowd started gathering at Grand avenue and mission blvd.. PPeople moved toward the lifeguard tower. They were chanting--
And had signs saying things like "COVID is a lie, All citizens are granted the same right to work, close sacramento forever, recall newsom and all workers are essential"
It was unclear if some were protesting the stay at home order.. Or rather taking other political stances.There were many flags and signs supporting President Trump. Other signs read "Vaccine makers are exempt from liability"
Protestors challenged San Diego Police a number of times - walking in the street after repeated warnings. Still the rally remained relatively calm. Many people driving by were honking horns, and SDPD did pull over at least one vehicle that had a woman hanging out of the sunroof. A man was also taken away in handcuff but it's unclear why.
Polls show most americans favor stay at home orders to reduce the spread of the virus. SDPD says the protest was organized by the same woman they're recommending be charged for holding a similar rally downtown last weekend.
One year ago today, The Chabad of Poway synagogue was the target of a white supremicist attack.
POWAY SHOOTING NEWS CLIP
On Sunday, the synagogue held an online memorial service to remember the victims.
KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen has more.
AB: Rabbi Mendel Goldstein opened the memorial with a prayer for those who've fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Goldstein and his children were in the synagogue on April 27 last year when a 19-year-old man entered with an assault rifle and started shooting. The gunman killed 60-year-old Lori Kaye. Her husband, Howard, recalled her generosity.
CHABAD 1B 0:16
HK: Lori was the first person to be there when somebody was ill. She helped all people of nationalities, of all religions. She was the true universal yid. Everyone knew her in San Diego and many parts of the world.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the gunman, who described his hatred for Jews in an online post before the shooting. His trial is scheduled to begin June 2.
MEMORIAL CLIP 2
San Diego Muslims marked the beginning of Ramadan last week, but it is a Ramadan like no other.
KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.
The holy month of Ramadan requires fasting, prayer, reflection and community. All possible under COVID-19 restrictions, but with some major adjustments. The Islamic center moved all mosque based events online when the facility closed on March 12. Imam Taha Hassane says social distancing has been a major change.
00:06:26 -- “00:06:40 “If you know how we pray as Muslims on the mosque, shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot, I don’t know how we are going to do that, honestly. But we will deal with the situation as information comes and we will see what we can do.”
Hassane says communal prayers and feasts are not possible during Ramadan, but the community is delivering food to help those less fortunate.
The month of Ramadan observance is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith.
When the U.S.-Mexico border shut down in March, many plans, including some environmental conservation efforts, were put on hold.
But, KPBS Science & Technology reporter Shalina Chatlani says -- at the last minute -- San Diego researchers were able to bring the red-legged frog from Mexico back to Southern California, where it had been gone for almost two decades.
Part 1: About the frog
VO: Herpetologist Bradford Hollingsworth of the San Diego Natural History Museum is very familiar with the California red legged frog.
HOLLINGSWORTH: We can all mimic the sound… Shalina: Really can you do that? HOLLINGSWORTH: (Laughs) the red legged frog is eh eh eh eh…
The frog -- which used to be an important part of the food web in Southern California -- started declining in the region in 1970s because of habitat destruction and invasive species.…
HOLLINGSWORTH: the whole idea of having them back here in Southern California was a dream of many of us.
In 2006 the museum and federal biologists began studying ways to bring the frog back, and soon partnered with a nature group in Baja California, Mexico, where the frog population was thriving. In March the team could finally transport frog eggs across the border for the first time … but,
HOLLINGSWORTH: the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to shut down the border in the middle of the project….
Hollingsworth says two days before the border shut down, the team was scrambling to come up with a game plan.. because federal biologists could no longer travel across the border. With some shuffling in travel plans, were ultimately able to transport the eggs, but if they'd miss that small window of opportunity…
HOLLINGSWORTH: We would have had to wait a whole 'nother year
Part 2: USFW/Mexico
The frog made it back to Southern California, but some cross-border environmental work has become more difficult. In an statement the US Fish and Wildlife Services wrote that "some field research and wildlife management activities have been temporarily halted or restricted for the safety of the public and Service staff."
For the red-legged frog, American biologists had partnered with the Mexican non-profit group, Conservacion de Fauna del Noroeste. Anny Peralta-Garcia is the co-founder, and she says she's heard some concerns from other people in the field in Mexico.
Garcia: You're missing all this fieldwork and all this information… maybe they were working for 10 years collecting data and now may not be able to do it.
Peralta-Garcia says they were lucky to get the first frog egg masses across the border.
Like me , I cannot go to the U.S. anymore, if I want to take some egg masses I can't. Somebody from the U.S. has to come..
Part 3: prepared, and still moving forward
But, says US Geological Services biologist Robert Fisher, says they succeeded because were also prepared.
FISHER: Yea (laughs) we got really lucky, and a lot of it was we really prepared, because we had done work previously in Mexico to prepare for this with the Mexican team…. We did experimental translocations..
Fisher says they want to try to move frogs again next year to build up the population.
FISHER: I think this really built enough momentum that we'll be able to show we can do it and we can get more partners on board…
And even if they can't…
Fisher: We'll use these two ponds as source populations for other sites in the US hopefully over time.
And as red-legged tadpoles grow into adult frogs, Fisher says he's excited to start hearing them singing (AMBI FROG) their songs throughout San Diego, Shalina Chatlani, KPBS news.
And that story from KPBS reporter Shalina Chatlani is part of #CoveringClimateNow, an effort by news organizations worldwide to bring about a greater understanding of the real-time impacts of climate change.
For more head to kpbs.org/climatechange.
If you have a sewing machine and you know how to use it, there’s a good chance you’re making DIY face masks right now. Even people who don’t know how to sew are offering up mask-making advice.
DIY FACE MASK CLIP 1
KPBS arts editor Julia Dixon Evans wrote about one local pattern designer Trista Roland, founder of a company called Sugardale, who shared a free mask pattern with her followers really quickly after the pandemic hit.
PATTERN TUTORIAL CLIP
You can find it at sugardale dot net slash strange dash times.
And if you have a minute, head over the kpbs dot org and read more about Trista, the slow fashion movement she’s part of, and her musings on fashion’s post-pandemic future.
That’s all. This podcast, by the way, is powered by the KPBS newsroom. If you want to support our reporters work, the best way to do that is to become a member. Go to kpbs dot org and click the blue give now button. Thanks.